Mar 11, 2011 7:00pm EST
the water that used to be there has to go somewhere else. >> couric: could this type of undersea earthquake happen along the united states coastline? >> there are two places in the united states where we have a similar type of fault that will also produce a big earthquake and a big tsunami. one is the ay electrocution arc around alaska and the other much more dangerously is the pacific northwest. there's one of these types of faults running all the way from the south to the island of victoria in british qlaupl in the north. >> what can scientists in your view hope to learn from this event? >> this is going to be the best recorded earthquake ever. the japanese have spectacular instrumentation and i think we're going to learn a lot more about the fundamental nature of earthquakes. we're also going to be learning a lot about how buildings behave in these very largest events and especially cities of seattle and portland. i hope we're looking very, very carefully at how the japanese buildings behaved. >> couric: dr. lucy jones of the u.s. geological survey, dr. jones, thanks so much.